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Pfizer's Lipitor Sees Big Boost From Medicare

This article was originally published in RPM Report

Executive Summary

Pfizer is discounting its blockbuster brand Lipitor more aggressively. But, thanks to the economics of Medicare Part D, the product is still benefiting from a big net price increase in 2006. Lipitor's performance is some much needed good news for Pfizer--and maybe even better news for the industry as a whole.

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The Triumph of Part D

The US prescription drug market remains anemic, but don't blame the federal government. The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit that began in 2006 is the only reason there has been any growth in the retail sector. No wonder industry is so eager for health care reform.

Not So Random Selection: Medicare Agency Cuts "Churn" In Part D Enrollment

One of the Obama Administration's first moves in managing the Medicare Part D benefit is to tamp down on the number of beneficiaries who will be randomly assigned to a new plan on Jan. 1. Stability is good for the program politically, but it may also be a sign of more hands-on management by the Medicare agency in the years ahead.

Keeping the Government at Bay: Protecting Part D from the Protected Classes and Specialty Drug Pricing

A tenuous collaboration between drug manufacturers and health insurance plans holds together Part D, the private Medicare drug benefit. That collaboration is coming under pressure on several fronts: specialty drug pricing and restrictions on health plan formulary tools for six specfic drug classes are the most threatening. Karen Ignagni, the head of the health industry trade group, says industry must resolve the problems or leave a hole for more government control.

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